Mismatch by mikesanye






Teacher styles and learning stages (Grow)

Learning styles (H and M and learning cycle)

Transition curve

Logical levels

This style is traditional and didactic. Conveys facts that the teacher thinks
the learner needs to know and may answer questions but only relating to
what’s been said. Likened to parent child relationship.

Less didactic and based on questions and answers but it is still the teacher’s
agenda. The teacher gives new facts but only when the learner shows they
don’t know. Thus is still teacher driven although more learner centred and
supportive. Can motivate the interested learner to learn and at some stage
move onto more independent learning.

More facilitating along the line of “Find out for yourself.” Teacher happy to
share information and knowledge and recognizes that each party knows
some things but not necessarily the same. Sharing approach good for

Discussion between equals and as if the teacher holds up a mirror, helping
the learner to understand what the problem is, and to look at relationships
and communication. Acts as a consultant when needed but mainly happy to
delegate to the individual their self directed learning.


    Dependent – on being told and being given knowledge
    Interested – in understanding and exploring with close support
    Involved – in finding out and discovering with some help and
     happy to be challenged
    Self directed – and are responsible for their own learning but
     require light touch support and help
Match and Mismatch between
Learner Stages and Teacher Styles

From Gerald Grow (6)

In this model, teachers adapt their teaching styles to match the student's degree of self
direction, and in order to increase that self-direction. Problems occur when dependent
learners are mismatched with non-directive teachers and when self-directed learners are
mismatched with highly directive teachers.

      S4: Mismatch
     Self- Students resent     Mismatch       Near Match         Match
 Directed authoritarian
 Learner       teacher
 Involved     Mismatch        Near Match         Match         Near Match
Interested   Near Match          Match        Near Match        Mismatch
      S1:                                                    Students resent
Dependent       Match         Near Match       Mismatch
                                                              freedom they
  Learner                                                     are not ready

                T1:              T2:           T3:                T4:
              Authority        Motivator      Facilitator      Delegator
               Expert          Socratic       Heuristic        Counsellor
The T1/S4    Some problems in education arise when the learner and teacher are not matched. When
Mismatch.    self-directed students (S4) are paired with an authoritarian teacher (T1), problems may
             arise--although some S4 learners develop the ability to function well and retain overall
             control of their learning, even under directive teachers (Long, 1989). Other S4 learners,
             however, will resent the authoritarian teacher and rebel against the barrage of low-level
             demands. This mismatch may cause the learner to rebel or retreat into boredom.
             To make things worse, the S1 teacher will probably not interpret such a rebellion as the
             result of a mismatch; that teacher is likely to see the student as "surly, uncooperative and
             unprepared to get down to the hard graft of learning basic facts" (Fox, 160). Hersey (1983)
             describes the result of this mismatch as "havoc," in which "extreme over control by the
             leader can result in stress and conflict where the follower engages in behavior designed to
             get the leader out or to get out from under the leader."

The T1/S3- The T1/S3-S4 mismatch is one of the fundamental difficulties with the public school
S4         system. Students who are capable of more individual involvement in learning are often
Mismatch. relegated to passive roles in authoritarian classrooms.
           Adults who return to college may find themselves faced with a similar mismatch. Their
           life experiences and learning skills enable them to learn at the S3 or S4 level in many
           subjects, but at many colleges they find faculty accustomed to using S1 and S2 methods
           on adolescents. Furthermore, after many years of responsibility, adults may experience
           difficulty learning in from S1 teachers. Adults may be unused to blindly doing what they
           are told without understanding why and consenting in the task. Many of them are
           accustomed to having authority. They don't jump through hoops just because somebody
           says to--even though younger students are ordinarily expected to do so without question.
           Older adults returning for graduate study, in particular, may run aground on courses like
           statistics, which are often taught by briskly directive faculty using the S1 mode. The S3
           mode is sometimes not used with older learners, even when it is possible and appropriate,
           simply because teachers lack experience in this type of teaching. Mature students may
           respond like the disgruntled dog in a recent New Yorker cartoon, who complained, "It's
           always 'Sit,' 'Stay,' 'Heel'--never 'Think,' 'Innovate,' 'Be yourself'" (Steiner, 1990).

The T4/S1    A different problem occurs when dependent learners are paired with a Stage 3 or Stage 4
Mismatch.    teacher who delegates responsibility that the learner is not equipped to handle.
             (I developed the entire SSDL model just to gain the insight reported in the following
             With such students, humanistic methods may fail. Many will not be able to make use of
             the "freedom to learn," because they lack the skills such as goal-setting, self-evaluation,
             project management, critical thinking, group participation, learning strategies, information
             resources, and self-esteem, which make self-directed learning possible--skills such as
             those described by Guglielmino (1977), Oddi (1986), and Cafarella and O'Donnell (1987).
             In this mismatch, students may resent the teacher for forcing upon them a freedom they
             are not ready for. In Pratt's words, they may feel "frustration and anger when, in a
             misguided spirit of democracy, they are expected to make decisions without sufficient
             knowledge or expertise" (1988, p. 169). Wanting close supervision, immediate feedback,
             frequent interaction, constant motivation, and the reassuring presence of an authority-
             figure telling them what to do, such students are unlikely to respond well to the delegating
             style of a nice humanistic facilitator, hands-off delegator, or critical theorist who demands
             that they confront their own learning roles. They may even hate the teacher (as my student
             hated me), or, like the Chinese law students described by Nadler (1989), they may
             dutifully recite the words of authority figures and shy away from the kind of independent
             thinking Americans value.
             Hersey (1983) describes the results of this mismatch a kind of "havoc" that occurs when
             the followers do not receive the guidance they need, and,
             "lacking the ability to perform the task, tend to feel that the leader has little interest in their
             work and does not care about them personally [This form of leadership makes] it difficult
             for these followers to increase their ability and reinforces their lack of confidence If the
             leader waits too long but then provides high amounts of structure, the followers tend to see
             this action as punative rather than a helping relationship."
             Several telling examples of this kind of mismatch can be found in the reports of innovative
             teaching in Carl Rogers' "Freedom to Learn in the '80s." One student, whose ability to
             respond with self-direction was less than that demanded by the course, wrote:
             "I am the product of a system built around assignments, deadlines, and conventional
             examinations. Therefore, with this course graded by the flexible method and four other
             courses graded by the more conventional methods I tend to give less attention to this
             course than it merits due to lack of well-defined requirements." (Rogers, p. 91)
             In another section, Rogers acknowledges "the shock and resentment that sometimes occur
             when students are faced with the necessity of making responsible choices" (p. 93). Other
             teachers in the book blame such students for not taking responsibility for their own
             learning, concluding that in dependent learners "old conditioning feels safe and operates
             well" (p. 66). The teachers quoted in this book want students to be more self-directing, but
             they have no pedagogical method for helping students move from dependency to self-
             That is what the Staged Self-Directed Learning Model proposes.

Discussion    The T4/S1 mismatch and "free schools." The T4/S1 mismatch (or the milder
of            mismatch of T4/S2) points to a fundamental problem with the extreme "free school"
Mismatches    approach to education (practiced by Neill [1960] and attempted by many). This approach
              trusts that, left alone, children will learn on their own. The literature on self-directed
              learning, however, suggests that "learning on your own" requires a complex collection of
              self-skills and learning skills which not all learners spontaneously acquire. Unless self-
              direction is explicitly encouraged, "free" schools and "open" programs may work only
              for those whose family background has already prepared them for self-direction (Tuman,
              Teachers using critical pedagogy have also reported difficulties when the method does
              not match the learning stage of the student. Even though critical pedagogy is specifically
              designed to address the learning problems of students in their real situations (including
              the classroom), some students do not respond.
              "Most of my mainstream college students...are waiting for the teacher to speak and do all
              the work and leave them alone to copy down what should be memorized," Ira Shor
              reported. "They generally begin passively alienated, and many stay that way until the
              end" (Shor & Freire, 1987, p. 129).
              For all its virtues, critical pedagogy alone may not be sufficient to move students from
              dependent to independent learning. The SSDL model suggests that problems may arise
              when the S3 approach of critical pedagogy conflicts with the need S1 students have for
              being taught.
            Though adult educators recognize that adult learners are not necessarily self-directed
            learners, it is widely assumed that adults will become self-directed after a few sessions
            explaining the concept. (See, for example, Rutland & Guglielmino's [1987] well-
            designed program for teaching adults about self-directed learning before they begin a
            self-directed learning group.) But not all adults will become self-directed when told.
            Adult learners can be at any of the four learning stages, but the literature on adult
            education is dominated by advocates of what the SSDL model would call a Stage 3
            method--a facilitative approach emphasizing group work (epitomized by the generous,
            gentle approach in Knowles, 1975). Even teachers of adults, however, may need to
            approach certain learners in a directive, even authoritarian style, then gradually equip
            those learners with the skills, self-concept, and motivation necessary to pursue learning
            in a more self-directed manner.
            Freire, advocate of a classroom in which student and teacher receive equal respect,
            acknowledges the paradoxical need to be directive:
            "On the one hand, I cannot manipulate. On the other hand, I cannot leave the students by
            themselves. The opposite of these two possibilities is being radically democratic. That
            means accepting the directive nature of education. There is a directiveness in education
            which never allows it to be neutral My role is not to be silent" (Shor & Freire, 1987, p.
            Every stage requires balancing the teacher's power with the student's emerging self-
            direction. If I emphasize the need for directiveness, it is because, coming from a
            humanistic background, I had to learn to use directive methods wholeheartedly, without
            apology or shame, as part of the long-term cultivation of self-direction in certain
            learners. Pratt makes a similar case for practitioners of andragogy to "acknowledge states
            of dependency as potentially legitimate" and provide the needed direction" (1988, p.

Good        The SSDL model suggests why "good teaching" is widely misunderstood. Most people
Teaching    seem to think that there is one way to teach well. Awards usually go to a teacher who is
            outstanding in one of the first two stages--the one who "pours it on" or the one who leads
            and motivates students--less often to the one who encourages students to develop on their
            own, or the one who engages the most advanced students with deep, open-ended
            What is "good teaching" for one student in one stage of development may not be "good
            teaching" for another student--or even for the same student at a different stage of
            development. Good teaching does two things. It matches the student's stage of self-
            direction, and it empowers the student to progress toward greater self-direction. Good
            teaching is situational, yet it promotes the long-term development of the student.

Conflicts   In my experience, teachers of the S1-S2 types and teachers of the S3-S4 types often
among       dislike one another's methods, even one another's personalities. Humanistic educators
teachers    (for example, Fox) often ridicule or reject S1 and S2 methods. "Back-to-the-basics"
with        teachers, conversely, often ridicule those they consider fuzzy and non-directive. In
different   typical polarizing fashion, each group compares its virtues to the other's faults.
            A similar point is made concerning the debate about andragogy in adult education.
            I have listened for many years to colleagues who devalue their counterparts. Whatever its
            faults, the SSDL model provides a way to honor the strengths of a broad range of
            teaching styles.
              Multi-Mode Teaching. Nearly any teacher can teach in more than one style. Hersey and
              Blanchard (1988, Ch. 12) give an interesting account of all possible pairs of management
              styles in the Situational Leadership Model, though I suspect that teachers lump into two
              large groups--those for whom the S1-S2 styles come naturally, and those for whom the
              S3-S4 styles come naturally. The S3-S4 group seems dominant among writers on adult
              Toscanini as a multi-modal teacher. A study of 122 high school and college choral
              conductors found different ones favoring styles 1, 2, or 3, but many using a dominant
              style and one or more secondary styles (Friedman, 1988). I believe that some teachers
              use all four styles quite naturally.
              In tapes of Toscanini's rehearsals, for example, the maestro's dominant style is what I
              would call S2 (the same style Friedman found dominant in choral directors)--leading by
              motivating. When mechanical difficulties arise--such as tuning, balancing sections of the
              orchestra, or mastering his interpretation, he does not hesitate to ask world-class
              musicians to follow blindly while he drills them in the S1 mode. When rehearsing with a
              soloist, however, Toscanini shifts to an S3 mode in which he uses the entire orchestra to
              facilitate the soloist's interpretation. Changes can be negotiated; but the maestro does not
              dictate them. And, in the S4 moments of transcendent magic, he (without ceasing to be
              dynamically present) virtually disappears, so that the music plays itself through him and
              through the orchestra. In those moments, each player is independently self-directed in
              one of the great communal experiences of human culture.
              Such convergences underscore the difficulty in drawing clear lines between self-
              direction, other-direction, and teaching style.

Some Traps for Teachers
The              The temptation for the Stage 1 teacher is to be authoritarian in a punative, controlling
temptations      way that stifles initiative and creates resistance and dependency.
of each
teaching         The temptation for the Stage 2 teacher is to remain on center stage, inspiring all who
style.           will listen but leaving them with no more learning skills or self-motivation than when
                 they began.

                 The Stage 3 teacher can disappear into the group and demoralize students by
                 "accepting and valuing almost anything from anybody" (Fox, 1983, p. 162).

                 The Stage 4 teacher can withdraw too much from the learning experience, lose touch,
                 fail to monitor progress, and let students hang themselves with rope they are not yet
                 accustomed to handling. Alternately, a misguided Stage 4 mentor can insidiously
                 infiltrate all aspects of an advanced student's life (Bishop, 1988).

              In each instance, the teacher may falter in the immensely difficult juggling act of
              becoming vitally, vigorously, creatively, energetically, and inspiringly unnecessary.
              Don't underestimate how difficult it is for a teacher to move from being a requirement to
              being just one among many choices in how to learn.
The false       A certain kind of student gives the appearance of being a Stage 4 self-directed learner but
Stage 4         turns out to be a highly dependent student in a state of defiance. The one who shouts
learner.        loudest, "NO! I'll do it MY way!" is likely to be a "false independent" student who may
                resist mastering the necessary details of the subject and try to "wing it" at an abstract
                Such students may apply for early admission to graduate seminars, for example, before
                they have the background knowledge or learning strategies to handle Stage 3 and Stage 4
                learning situations. False independents need to have their knowledge and skills brought
                up to the level of their self-concept. They may well need to learn how to learn
                productively from others. They may benefit from a strong-willed facilitator who
                challenges them to become not only autonomous but also effective.

Dependent,      Some learners get caught up in resisting direction. A group of highly resistant learners
resistant       can coerce teachers into an authoritarian mode--and then frustrate them. This game is
learners as a   played out daily by millions of school kids, with the help of their teachers.
product of
                The resistant form of Stage 1 is probably not a natural condition. Most preschool
                children seem naturally to be Stage 3 or 4 learners when undirected. Even when taught in
                a directive manner, they are generally available, interested, excitable, and have a
                spontaneous creative energy that they are willing to direct into satisfying projects under
                the guidance of a capable teacher. Many of us wonder why that magnificent desire to
                learn cannot be cultivated continuously throughout schooling.
                Resistant dependent learning may well be a product of culture, upbringing, and the
                public education system. Students do not naturally arrive at high school, college, or adult
                education programs at once dependent upon teachers and resentful of being taught. They
                become that way as a result of years of dependency training. And they continue resisting
                with the implicit cooperation of teachers. Quigley [1990] describes sources of resistance
                in adult basic learners, including threats to cultural identity. We need a better
                understanding of dependency in context, and we will have to face the possibility that
                certain forms of help only make the problem worse.

Mismatch can also occur because teacher and learner have different learning styles.
HOWEVER it is the teacher who has the responsibility to be FLEXIBLE.

Summary of Honey & Mumford

Activists Activists involve themselves fully and without bias in new experiences. They enjoy the
here and now and are happy to be dominated by immediate experiences. They are open-minded,
not sceptical, and this tends to make them enthusiastic about anything new. Their philosophy is:
"I'll try anything once". They tend to act first and consider the consequences afterwards. Their
days are filled with activity. They tackle problems by brainstorming. As soon as the excitement
from one activity has died down they are busy looking for the next. They tend to thrive on the
challenge of new experiences but are bored with implementation and longer term consolidation.
They are gregarious people constantly involving themselves with others but, in doing so, they
seek to centre all activities around themselves.

Reflectors Reflectors like to stand back to ponder experiences and observe them from many
different perspectives. They collect data, both first hand and from others, and prefer to think about
it thoroughly before coming to any conclusion. The thorough collection and analysis of data about
experiences and events is what counts so they tend to postpone reaching definitive conclusions
for as long as possible. Their philosophy is to be cautious. They are thoughtful people who like to
consider all possible angles and implications before making a move. They prefer to take a back
seat in meetings and discussions. They enjoy observing other people in action. They listen to
others and get the drift of the discussion before making their own points. They tend to adopt a low
profile and have a slightly distant, tolerant, unruffled air about them. When they act it is part of a
wide picture which includes the past as well as the present and others' observations as well as
their own.

Theorists Theorists adapt and integrate observations into complex but logically sound theories.
They think problems through in a vertical, step by step, logical way. They assimilate disparate
facts into coherent theories. They tend to be perfectionists who won't rest easy until things are
tidy and fit into a rational scheme. They like to analyse and synthesise. They are keen on basic
assumptions, principles, theories, models and systems ;thinking. Their philosophy prizes
rationality and logic. "If it's logical it's good". Questions they frequently ask are; "Does it make
sense?" "How does this fit with that?" "What are the basic assumptions?" They tend to be
detached, analytical and dedicated to rational objectivity rather than anything subjective or
ambiguous. Their approach to problems is consistently logical. This is their 'mental set' and they
rigidly reject anything that doesn't fit with it. They prefer to maximise certainty and .eel
uncomfortable with subjective judgements, lateral thinking and anything flippant.


Pragmatists are keen on trying out ideas, theories and techniques to see if they work in practice.
They positively search out new ideas and take the first opportunity to experiment with
applications. They are the sort of people who return from management courses brimming with
new ideas that they want to try out in practice. They like to get on with things and act quickly and
confidently on ideas that attract them. They tend to be impatient with ruminating and open-ended
discussions. They are essentially practical, down to earth people who like making practical
decisions and solving problems. They respond to problems and opportunities 'as a challenge'.
Their philosophy is: "There is always a better way" and "If it works it's good".
Kolb’s cycle of learning and how this matches to learning style.

  1. 'Having an Experience' (stage 1), and Activists (style 1): 'here and now',
     gregarious, seek challenge and immediate experience, open-minded, bored with
  2. 'Reviewing the Experience' (stage 2) and Reflectors (style 2): 'stand back',
     gather data, ponder and analyse, delay reaching conclusions, listen before
     speaking, thoughtful.
  3. 'Concluding from the Experience' (stage 3) and Theorists (style 3): think things
     through in logical steps, assimilate disparate facts into coherent theories,
     rationally objective, reject subjectivity and flippancy.
  4. 'Planning the next steps' (stage 4) and Pragmatists (style 4): seek and try out
     new ideas, practical, down-to-earth, enjoy problem solving and decision-making
     quickly, bored with long discussions.


     Pragmatic trainee gets frustrated by Reflective trainer always asking them
      reflective questions when they just want to get on with things
     Activist trainee can’t cope with Theorist trainers wish they read up protocols and
      papers before a tutorial
     Trainer gets frustrated that over reflector/theorist gets stuck on the cycle of
      learning between reflecting and checking and does not make decisions and act
    The process of TRANSITION is taken from business management and the expectation that
    someone who has a significant change in post will take about 18 months to reach full
    productive integration. And the potential for mismatch along this journey is high.

If we consider the length of time most trainees are in post it is clear that they are often pushed to
integrate very quickly and it is not surprising that there are times when there is both a MISMATCH
between their confidence and what is expected of them but also times when their motivation is
at odds with the trainer.


It is easy to underestimate the difficulty of moving to a new post. Induction programmes have
become increasingly good at providing information about the unit or practice. However do they
include enough time in getting to know and understand the individual trainee?

At stage 2 trainers may push trainees to use GP consultation models whilst the trainee is
struggling with the concept of patient centeredness and dealing with uncertainty. Many trainees
hold onto the security of a traditional history, examine and investigate model that has worked well
in OPD.

Trainers may be familiar with the “Trainee November Blues” when trainees realize how it is more
difficult than predicted and how much will be required to meet MRCGP competencies. If this is not
recongnised as a typical issue it is easy to wonder whether the trainee is lacking in motivation.

Motivations like the CSA get in the way of climbing up the right side of the diagram to becoming a
“proper GP” unless there is a matching of understanding about how good consulting skills and
passing the CSA are not “different concepts”!
Neurological (Logical) Levels of Learning
People often talk about responding to things on different „levels‟. For instance, someone
might say that some experience was negative on one level but positive on another level.
In the way our brain works there are natural hierarchies or levels of experience. The
effect of each level is to organise and control the information on the level below it.
Changing something on an upper level would necessarily change things on the lower
levels. Changing something on a lower level could, but would not necessarily, affect the
upper levels.

Robert Dilts, a Californian psychologist, has built a simple elegant model for thinking
about personal change, learning and communication that brings together these ideas of
context, levels of learning and perceptual position. It gives a framework for organising
and gathering information, so you can identify the best point to intervene to make any
desired change.

The levels are:


This answers the question: who am I?
Identity gives me my basic sense of self and my core values. Identity has primarily to do
with mission. It is the deepest (or highest) level.


This level has to do with the values and beliefs of the individual. It answers the question:
why am I doing this?
Beliefs and values are the various ideas we think are true and use as a basis for daily
action. Beliefs can be both permissive and limiting.


This level describes what we are capable of. They are the groups or sets of behaviours,
general skills and strategies that we can use in our life.
This level answers the question: how could I deal with this? At this level we use a variety
of mental maps, plans or strategies to generate specific behaviour.


Behaviour is made up of the specific actions or reactions taken within our daily
Regardless of our capabilities, behaviour describes what we actually do. It answers the
question: what am I doing?


This has to do with the external context in which behaviour occurs.
It answers the question: when and where does this behaviour occur?
An example – Why do trainees struggle with reflective practice
             and use of the e-portfolio.
             Unless you understand why there may be a
             mismatch in the way you try and deal with it.

          IDENTITY - The trainee values their role as a diagnostician and has
           a conviction that doctors know all they need to know when they
           They are certain they know best for patients so they do not need to

          BELIEF - The trainee can reflect but believes it is a waste of time or
           that the e-portfolio is not a good tool or that it is better not to reflect
           so that their internal feelings are not challenged

          CAPABILITY - The trainee accepts that reflection is a good
           concept but has no idea how to do it properly

          BEHAVIOUR - This might be because reflective behaviour is a
           completely foreign concept and thinking remains rigid since this
           structured approach has worked well in the past

          ENVIRONMENT - For example it is too noisy or uncomfortable to

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